As a leader and mentor of the fly fishing world, Brian Chou brings unique facets of creativity, strategy, and ingenuity to the fly fishing industry. Combining creativity and tradition, he is always looking to further himself, while leading the way as a maverick of science and functionality. With years of experience as a product designer/industry consultant, professional fly tier/photographer, guide/certified casting instructor, full time family man and entrepreneur, he still carves out the time to help those who are willing to further their journey.
“You’re only so smart as what you choose to share” – Brian Chou
Jacob is a civil servant and a role model in his community that others can look to for leadership and support. As a veteran of the US Navy, he served as a Cryptologist aboard the USS Enterprise during the OEF/OIF campaigns in the Persian Gulf. He now makes Portland, OR his home and is employed with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. Jacob is an avid fly fisherman who spends his time helping others learn the rivers and make that lifelong connection with our public lands. In addition to Love is King, Jacob also serves on the board of Soul River with Chad Brown and Brian Chou. When he’s not wearing waders, you can find him on a road trip in eastern Oregon with this wife Sarah and their dog Nova.
James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist who specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of the book “The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors” and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent. James has written for the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison Magazine, and Wisconsin Trails. He is currently a contributor to several outdoor-focused print and online publications such as National Geographic Adventure, Rock & Ice, Alpinist, SUP, Elevation Outdoors, Women’s Adventure, the Clymb, Park Advocate, High Country News, U.S. Park Pass, Land & People, Outside Magazine and The Guardian
Born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago. Currently live on the glorious Mid-Coast of Maine. I’m an avid fisherman, hiker, kayaker, paddle boarder and amateur surfer. I’m an artist and writer, father, husband and grandfather. For my entire life I have been a successful brand strategist and creative director for Fortune 500 brands like Nike, Sony, Jet Blue, Abbott labs and Procter & Gamble. I also work for free with non-profits and local start-ups. I own an agency Hoopla Communications, the name says it all. I like to do big work, meaningful work and have an impact, life is too short and we all have a lot of real work to do, things can always be better. I have learned many lessons in the branding and marketing world that I carry with me and share with my peers and clients. I attended the Art Institute of Chicago and I have a working art studio where you’ll find me if I’m not wandering the shoreline checking the tide looking feeding striped bass with fly rod in hand. I’m passionate and I take my work and my life seriously, always looking to improve.
Will grew up roaming the woods of New Hampshire and moved to Seattle to escape the snow and mosquitos (and marry the love of his life). After working as a “big firm” lawyer, then as in-house counsel for a multinational Fortune 500 company, Will is now the principal at a boutique law firm which counsels start-up, emerging, and Fortune 500 companies in the chemical and technology industries. He also has a novel in the works.
An avid outdoorsman, Will is a life member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and a past board member of the Ballard, Washington Ducks Unlimited chapter. Will also served as coach, board member, and counsel to the Board of Directors of the Magnolia United Youth Lacrosse Association.
Being a “consumptive user” of the outdoors, Will has a deep love and dedication to protecting our environment and wild places, and sharing outdoor experiences with others. Will is a passionate advocate for the mission of LIK: helping all folks feel comfortable and welcome in the outdoors so they can experience, love and help protect OUR wilderness. Will lives in Seattle and on Vashon Island, Washington, with his wife and two kids, and is currently planning the logistics for his next fishing and hunting adventures.
Davina Smith is a member of the Dine’ (Navajo) tribe. Davina Smith’s personal mission is advocating for Native families, in both her rural and urban communities, in addition to preserving and protecting the cultural and natural resources of ancestral Native American lands to benefit and bring healing to people and the Earth.” Davina has had a plethora of work experience in Salt Lake City such as, the former Executive Director for SLC Air Protectors, Director of Operations for Utah Dine Bikeyah (UDB), American Indian Education Coordinator for Salt Lake School District, Fourth Street Clinic, and Program Director for the American Indian Teacher Training Program (AITTP) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University. She is currently the Vice President of IndigiCANN (Indigenous Connecting All Nations Network) and CEO of Haseya Native Initiatives LLC.
Talia is Todích’íí’nii (Bitter Water), born for Tó’aheedlíinii (The Water Flow Together), maternal grandfather is Tl’aashchi’I (Red Bottom) and paternal grandfather is Tábą ą há (Water’s Edge). She was born and raised in the Diné Nation and was taught to respect the Natural World through traditional Diné teachings, she is a proud mother and community organizer. The alarming legacy of abandoned uranium mines and the ongoing exploitation of natural resources from extractive industries, including the desecration of sacred landscapes throughout her homeland drove Talia to take action to protect tribal communities on the Colorado Plateau and beyond.
Talia attended the University of New Mexico and has spent years grassroots organizing primarily in rural and Native communities on environmental and social justice issues. Some of her work has included community radio and working closely with tribal communities to address uranium legacy issues, protecting sacred landscapes, and supporting Native voting rights. Talia is currently working on land protection for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments, and organizing nationally to confront the last operating conventional uranium mill in the U.S., the White Mesa Mill located in southeastern Utah.
Hi! I’m Sharon Ross Monday thru Friday and Afrovivalist on the weekends. My life has been pretty crazy but I would do it all over again with some improvements.
I grew up in Southern Oregon on 26 acres in Sam’s Valley, Oregon in the early 70’s. I was the first African-American to attend the community Elementary, Jr. High and High Schools. I grew up in 4-H where I learned how to cook, sew, and raise farm animals. In addition, I was my father’s son. He taught me how to hunt, fish and ways to protect myself from racist individuals.
As an adult, I find myself going back to my childhood upbringing. Currently, I am preparing to build my homestead on my property located in an off-grid community where I will retire. I am a Huntress and Urban Survivalist who is preparing for catastrophic disasters. I realize that going back to nature to homestead has made a very positive impact on my life. I am downsizing my home in the city to live a simple life in the countryside. I am preparing for when crap hits the fan by establishing a homestead on a 20 acre property in rural Washington State.
“My passion is to encourage and educate communities the importance in preparing for a natural or man-made disaster when at home, work or play. I am a member of 2 emergency response teams; State of Oregon Radiological Emergency Response and Portland Bureau of Emergency Management -Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) in addition to working with kids as an Emergency Preparedness Instructor at Saturday Academy.
For more information on Afrovivalist, please go to the website at www.afrovivalist.com. I look forward to incorporating my knowledge and skills with others so we all are prepared when the next disaster happens.
Eric is a descendant of colonial-settler immigrants. The majority of his US-based ancestors immigrated to the US just three generations back from Norway and Germany. Most of his life has been lived on the west coast of the US, and he currently resides in Ashland, Oregon. Eric has worked in the outdoor adventure field for 30 years as a guide, educator, and rescuer. He has led trips in white-water river rafting and kayaking, white-water drift boat fishing, canoeing, sea kayaking, biking, skiing, and hiking. He has also taught short-courses in white-water river guiding, swift-water rescue, avalanche awareness, and winter backcountry travel skills. As an outfitter and guide, he takes stewardship very seriously, and has helped to protect and restore the Rogue River through river clean ups, dam removal, and policy restricting suction-dredge gold mining.
He is a student of life, and Eric’s love for learning has led him to earning degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Psychology, a certificate in Native American Studies, and a MA in Transformative Leadership. Recently, he worked as a critical educator in outdoor adventure leadership at the university level, facilitating courses in: adventure therapy, sustainability, outdoor living skills, wilderness nutrition and cooking, wilderness navigation, and outdoor adventure literature. As a critical educator, a unifying theme through all university courses he facilitated was diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a transdisciplinary scholar, Eric is working on a PhD in Transformative Studies where he is exploring what constitutes a planetary education in the face of climate change, ecological degradation, systemic social injustice, mass extinction, and a crisis in what constitutes relevant and pertinent knowledge. Eric asks questions like: What types of curriculum create people who identify as planetary members? What kind of education leads to planetary consciousness? How can education help people become respectful members of the Earth’s biotic community?
Eric is passionate about Love is King because he sees its mission as being a central theme of creating a truly sustainably world filled with regenerative societies and cultures. If humanity is to survive and thrive, all people need access to the Earth’s beautiful landscapes, because people will not care for the Earth if they do not know the Earth intimately, and if people do not know the Earth intimately, they will not love the Earth as a living being and our only home.
Clara is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast, and is passionate about protecting and conserving our natural resources. During sending season, you can find her at Smith Rock State Park 5-6 days a week. Trained as a scientist, she moved into public health after spending several years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. She now works as a healthcare consultant who advises clients on understanding, navigating, and advocating for federal and state policies and regulations. She has a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and a Masters in Public Administration from NYU. In her spare time, she is also an active Deschutes County Search and Rescue Volunteer and lives in Bend.